Horse Chestnut Tree Avenue

There’s a medium-sized Horse Chestnut tree in one of the hedgerows which seems to suit the conditions quite well and I’ve been growing some seedlings from the conkers – a few of which are 3 years old and a few more which are 2 years old.

I’d marked out for a line of 9 of these either side the driveway last summer and prepared the planting holes over winter then moved them from their nursery bed in February and March. They’re just now coming into leaf; with there being so little rain I’m keeping them well watered.

It took me a while to settle on the spacing and how far back from the drive to position them. The photo makes the hedge look quite close but it’s over 50 metres away and the 9 trees are 6 metres apart and 9 metres from the drive. 6 metres is too close together for a fully-grown horse chestnut so once they get big enough for that to be a problem every other one will need taking out, leaving 5 of the 9. Can’t see that happening in my lifetime though.

So far I’ve only planted the trees on the north side of the drive; on the south side there’s more work to do to prepare the planting holes. Those will have to wait until next winter.

SMETS2 Meter Installed

After being on the Octopus Energy smart meter installation waiting list for 3 months (not helped by Covid-19 working restrictions) the old ‘dumb’ meter was replaced with a SMETS2 smart meter today. A very neat and tidy installation by Privodor who are recruiting and training new installers to help with the backlog. (I don’t know why those meter tails with coloured sheathing, originally installed by SSE, aren’t more widely available / used.)

As expected it had no issues with getting a Telefonica (O2) signal and it commissioned straight away. Once it registers with Octopus I’ll be switched to their Agile tariff.

SMETS2 Meter installed in the outdoor Meter Cabinet

A pleasant surprise is that the supplied Chameleon IHD6 in-home display had no issues with range (the cabinet is about 15m from the house) and it’s (mostly) picking up a signal in the middle of the house. After enabling WiFi on the IHD6 it’s evident it’s publishing readings using MQTT-in-TLS – but it only seems to be configured to send these direct to Chameleon.